Government Proposal of 5G Network

Sarah Rogers, Staffer

The Trump administration has proposed to nationalize a portion of the nation’s wireless network as a way of guarding against China. This would include building a national 5G network that would bring bring super-fast Internet to consumers and businesses. This proposal would call for major government involvement in the private wireless area, creating a significant shift in the United States’ industrial policy that would disrupt the plans of America’s largest telecom and technology companies.

If the government should pursue the 5G wireless network, it would be expected to improve connectivity for smartphones and tablets, as well as self-driving cars and an endless lineup of other devices. The proposal would take at least six to eight months before a recommendation reaches the President’s desk, while building the network could take at least three years. An alternative to the government building the network itself would be to work with a private company.

Verizon and AT&T already have 5G trials operating, with initial deployment beginning this year and continuing in the months ahead. With the average American home broadband having a download speed of 17.2 megabits-per-second, a 5G network could bring those speeds close to 1 gigabit-per-second.

“Having a 5G network would profit a lot of everyday typical people,” freshman Alanna Deal said. “If the government built a 5G network, it would help the future of technology, and could prevent China from taking over our network.”

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai said that he opposed any federal proposal to run a national 5G network, he instead recommended that the government should support ongoing industry projects.

“The main lesson to draw from the wireless sector’s development over the past three decades — including American leadership in 4G — is that the market, not government, is best positioned to drive innovation and investment,” Pai said in a statement.

Chinese tech companies seeking to do business in the U.S. have increasingly faced resistance from the Trump administration and some lawmakers, who have cited concerns about the potential for Chinese technology deployed in the U.S. to monitor and spy on the American public. The Trump Administration thinks that if they can build a 5G network, that they can protect even more against China.

“I think that building a super powered network would deter the government from creating policies that would benefit America more than a 5G network,” Coach Steve Nolan said. “We could use the money towards more needed policies in America.”